Thursday, December 27, 2007

Editing: Are We Having Fun Yet?

Ink is currently editing her first novel, and she is, indeed, having fun. However, not everyone seems to be enjoying the process of ripping apart their literary babies so thoroughly as her, so here are a collection of links to ease the process:

Holly Lisle's One-Pass Revision: the Holy Grail of editing writers-first draft to last in one revision? Is that possible? Maybe for Holly Lisle. Ink didn't do so well, but Ink also wasn't anywhere near as ruthless as she should have been on the first pass, necessitating a second, more productive one. It's definitely worth a look, and an excellent method.

Paperback Writer's notes on editing: It looks good to Ink, although this article more of a description of how she does it versus how to do it yourself. PBW has a step-by-step here, which Ink found helpful and entertaining.

Sara McGrath's Editing and Polishing Suite: a nice article on how to edit a novel. Ink is also intrigued by the other articles in the suites, with titles like "Advance Techniques," "Theme," and "Marketing and Selling." A nice jumping-off point, and also worth a look if you want to write and sell a book with friendly guidelines from start to finish.

Self-Editing by Lori Handeland: This is a great prose checklist-follow it and Ink thinks your writing will not suck. However, if you're a NaNo novelist like her, you'll want to make sure your plot is coherent before you get down to the paragraph level.'s 'I Wrote A Novel, Now What?' Page: a good resource for those of us who stomach the notion of looking back over the fruits of our caffeine-induced labors. It will also help you if you're not so certain about your plot, as will One-Pass Revision.

Here's Ink's suggestion for NaNo'ers, ripped off Chris Baty's advice in No Plot? No Problem!: write out the events in the story scene-by-scene. Do this with the novel in front of you. See if they lead to the next one, well, like dominoes in a row, each event leading inexorably to the next. If not, delete the bad ones and put in new ones. Switch 'em around and see if that does anything for you. Once you've got that down, then, and only then, do you begin to work on your prose.

Good luck, guys! Anchors away!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sisters Twice Removed

Hey, guys, I'm happy to inform you that Miri of is now a partner in crime (the boring Blogspot drones say "admin") of Ink and Words!

We plan to update weekly, alternating between whining about wordcounts and editing and doing silly things like helping others with Japanese lessons and harcore grammar beatings. Pfft. Charity is silly. Anyway, check in often, because those week-long (okay, month-long) gaps in updates are about to become a thing of the past.

You may know her well from her own blog (in fact, you probably know me from her blog), but I'll shut up so she can introduce herself now.


Well, hello again! As most of you probably know, I'm Miri, young aspiring writer, partner-in-crime of Ink, also a young aspiring writer. (The blogosphere's just littered with our type, isn't it?)

As Ink mentioned, we're going to attempt something new and groundbreaking: content! Well, our kind of content. Look to Ink for the aforementioned hardcore grammar beatings; I'll be making posts about Japanese, interesting historical snippets, and suchlike. So, I guess not much has changed. Except that we'll be updating more often. And eventually have all kinds of fun and useful resources for your perusal.

The nice little two-squigglies-surrounding-a-star symbol henceforward will mean that there has been a change of author within a post. We'll try to keep it to a minimum, because interrupting is rude. Usually. :)

I'm very grateful to Ink for the opportunity to join forces. Let the fun begin!

Hey, if she's Ink, that makes me Words...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Big Braggy Post

You knew this was coming, didn't you?

I'm an official NaNoWriMo 2007 winner! Sure, I still have to finish the book, but it went a whole lot better than last year, so I'm just happy all over. Pfft, and they say sophomore year is hardest. (Watch, next year I'll get hammered. Karma does not rest.)

My novel's called 'Disenchantment' and, in summary, America has launched a War on Magic and sends vampires, werewolves, and all degree of magical creatures into rehab. My protagonist, Jordan Allaway, is a 17-year-old human girl trying to have a normal senior year. Unfortunately for her, 'normal' is the last thing on her roommates' minds.

Sounds like a decent pitch, just have to send out the queries for my first NaNoWriMo novel and edit this one before I get to use it again.

On this business side of things, find out with how much your blog is worth here:

I'd tell you how much mine is, but the Intrawebz aren't cooperating, and it's pitiful anyway.

(And, yes, perceptive readers, I snagged this from Holly Lisle. If she comes by and asks me to take it down, well, hey, that alone would probably double my blog worth anyway.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

NaNoWriMo '07

Well, I was planning to write a big braggy post about my finished novel, complete with link to my winner's page. I've written 50,000 words. But, because I stupidly went on vacation to Jamaica in the middle of the month, I have to email the file to myself from my sister's computer, receive it, muck through my inbox o' spam to find it (while avoiding tempting offers of updated fanfics and learning conversational Spanish with just 138 words), jack up the wordcount a little to compensate for the word-eating NaNoWriMo validator, and link it to here.

And it was getting really annoying. I was feeling more and more frustrated until I called my cousin Elijah, who I don't get to see nearly enough and whom I miss dearly. We talked for maybe ten minutes, but it reminded me of what was really important in life.

Hint: it's not updating your blog.

Hint: it's not wrestling with Comcast to brag on your blog, either.


The braggy post will come, my friends, but not tonight. I'll be updating more frequently now that I have a little more time on my hands and actual writing stuff (like editing and querying) to talk about.

...and if I want to make it as a writer, I should stop ending sentences with prepostions.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Freudian Slips

Hey, I'm back! (Briefly. With 1 observation)

One of the fun things about Dvorak is that you can make typos that look real, but aren't. In this last sentence, I got rean, thot, and oen. And my conlanging senses, long dormant, are tingling. (Tinglingt, even.)

So, while I was writing something about a rather raw but highly amusing guy, I wanted to type (tyle) the word "all." In interests of taste (tatse), I wound (worg) up with another (antor, anthore) 3-letter word that began with A.


Monday, August 27, 2007

14 Days- The End


  1. Clean living space.
  2. Write subplot to novel.
  3. Finish Dragon*Con costume.
  4. Read mother's novel.
  5. Master the Office Theme, Into the West and Sonatina on piano.
  6. Holly Lisle fast plotting for 07 NaNoWriMo.
  7. Switch to Dvorak keyboard layout.

I didn't finish my mom's NaNo, or my costume or learn the piano pieces. But guess what? I have a clean house, a completed 2nd draft, a plot for my next novel, a Dvorak keyboard, a costume missing only trim, half a book read and 1 1/2 songs learned. I'd call that a success.

I'm going to take a short blogging break after this (and by short, I mean 3 weeks or so) and come back new & improved. Maybe even with weekly segments.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

14 Days- Day 10

Ugh, only 4 days left. My tasks are reassessed:

  1. Finish subplot and work into novel.
  2. Add white trim to costume.
  3. Master pieces.
  4. Read mother's book.

I've written 6k of subplot (yay!) in total. I'll write a little tonight and knock the rest out of the park tomorrow. And then my 2nd draft will be done... whoa.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

14 Days- Day 9

My constant whining was even boring me, so I'm posting now that I have something good to report- 4k of subplot. I'm also typing quite well with Dvorak now, excepting a few letters (like K, L, Y, P and F. And S and O, and Z, Q and W if you want to get picky. But other than that, major progress.)

I'm going to try Chris Baty's 6k day tomorrow. If I could finish this, the biggest challenge, I'd fly through the rest and be able to relax a little even. (But now I've jinxed it and I'll never know. Teehee.)

My aunt got my costume back to me, saint that she is. I'll do the edging just as soon as I get the fabric.

Knowing me, that'll be three days before the con.

Ah, well. Life is good.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

14 Days- Day 6

Computer troubles have overtaken me, so days 3-6 are all going up today. Come to think of it, I've misplaced 4. Weird.

Guess what I did today! NOTHING. That's right, absolutely beans. Well, I could give you the old "houseguest and 2-hour long friend's ordination" but it doesn't change my productivity.

On the other hand, in 6 days, I've
  1. Tidied and kept tidy my living space.
  2. Passed outfit off on kind aunt.
  3. Went above and beyond with Holly Lisle notecarding.
  4. Switched to Dvorak to the point that QWERTY deeply confuses me.

Trouble is, those were the easy ones. I still have 2 piano pieces to perfect, a subplot to write, a NaNo to read, and High School Musical 2 to avoid like freaking plague. Stupid Zac Effron obsessed cousins! WHY on earth are we meeting them the week the Whitest Show On Earth comes out?

14 Days- Day 5

Pretty much a toss-up. I read the 1st six pages of Mom's novel and wrote about a thousand words of my subplot (and considering that I expect my subplot to be 10k, that's noteable.) Luckily, I got an awesome idea for another scene involving Deception and a female assassian (I can hear the spittake from here, Miri!) that I'll write tomorrow.

14 Days- Day 3

I didn't accomplish too much. *sigh* I now have 20 notecards out of the 25-30, but that wasn't all today. My Dvorak (or my patience) is improving. I also bought ballroom dance shoes! And I did a cool freewrite thing for my upcoming NaNo. All is well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

14 Days- Day 2

Dvorak-ing here, so this will be brief.

Finished a poem (10 whole stanzas!), sorted photos with grandmom, pulled hamstring line-dancing (laugh, it's funny), limped around a bit, made a nice breakthrough notecarding plot... and typing this has only taken 7 minutes. Progress. :D

Monday, August 13, 2007

14 Days- Day 1

Okay, explanation is due. I have two weeks of vacation starting today and 7 things to accomplish within them. The idea is to do one every two days, but seeing their varying degrees of bigness, some make take more time and some, less.
  1. Clean living space.
  2. Write subplot to novel.
  3. Finish Dragon*Con cosplay costume. *DORK ALERT*
  4. Read mother's novel.
  5. Master the Office Theme, Into the West and Sonatina on piano.
  6. Holly Lisle fast plotting for 07 NaNoWriMo.
  7. Switch to Dvorak keyboard layout.

Two of them are completed- my house is now tidy (and already slipping) and my aunt VERY generously offered to finish my outfit. I can't read my mom's novel until she finishes editing it, and I needed notecards to do #6. Wanting to delay any piano-playing for as long as possible and trying to break my QWERTY bonds, I went after the layout switch today, before I work on my subplot.

I didn't get a chance to work on it until, say, 5 PM. I slept in until 2 (an all-time low. I'm on vacation, people!) and, called Miri and watched some TV. (What was I thinking? Gah.) At any rate, I've been using KP Typing Tutor and learning all kinds of new letter placements since then. I only have a few letters left to learn, too, and I typed a short paragraph with little/no pain. Not bad, I suppose... but it needs to be better.

"But, Ink, you have two days, and keyboard changes take weeks to get used to!" you say. As for the former, no, I don't- tomorrow I'm helping my grandmother. (Just what I want to do on vacation. No, really. She's cool.) And the latter... well, I feel special like that. It's coming along well, I might get off easy.

So, I'll learn a few more letters and switch the keys to finalize the transaction when I'm done writing this. No looking back- just dread for the future. Yay!

Straight Outta Arrakis

This isn't an offical part of 14 Days of Freedom (which I feel prentenious about captilizing, by the way). Although I am talking about one of my goals, it's not the end-of-the-day report.

Hmm. So, when I volunteered to Photoshop a missing black belt in our group picture at camp, I figured it'd be a piece of cake for someone whose been messing around with the program for a year. A little Magnetic Lasso here, a little Copy&Pasting there, and I'd be set. Not so, my friends. This was a challenge to test the very limits of my patience, ingenuity, and mastery of Ctrl + anything.

My first problem was that of getting the bugger out of his indivual photo in the first place. The picture they took of him was in a gymnasium, lit from the top, with those shinily-painted gym cinderblocks in the background. It was a NIGHTMARE. The light was glinting every which way, screwing up my cheat-y Magnetic Lasso tool and forcing me to put back areas I'd already deleted, just to make sure I hadn't taken a big chunk of his leg with me.

Then, I had to find a spot for him. When we took the picture, we had to fit 45+ people in the view of a home digital camera. Before it started to rain. We were packed together so close, sardines felt roomy. I tried tacking him on the end of the line, but the fact that he had no feet kinda screwed that one over. So I plopped him in the only place I could fit his whole face and an acceptable amount of shoulder, and nearly called it a day.

Then I looked at him. He looked like a Jedi ghost. He was bright and blue while everyone around him was this dingy yellow-pink. Now, this errant black belt is, in fact, a pastor, but his is not Jesus. And I didn't think he ought to glow like him.

I won't even get IN to the details on the long, tedious, long, painful, long, eyedrying, long, tear-inducing, and long process that was correcting the color. I used every Photoshop trick I knew, and it didn't come close to looking right. So, I thought, maybe the shadows are the root of all evil. His light came from the dank and dead-fly-spotted fluresant brillance of the gym, whereas his fellows bathed in the spotty glamour of a rainclouded sky. I tried to paint in some shadows. It didn't just fail- it phailed. Hard.

I gotta get this right, I thought. If not for the sake of my teacher, at least the sake of my pride. And with that, I noticed he didn't have any shadows around his eyes from the above lighting. Volia, problem solve.

Or not- my attempts to darken his eyes resulted in a disappointing descent from looking like Jesus to looking like Satan. The hour was midnight, and it was time for a miracle.

I had been guiding off this man's neighbor the entire time, for color, shoulder angle, height. Mayhap, I thought, I could borrow his eyes.

So borrow his eyes I did. With Copy&Paste, soft-edged erasers, the Rotate tool, and more Dune-inspired trepidation since I gave a stock-photo baby the eyes of the Ibad, I duplicated one guy's eyes and smacked them on another. Will I have creepy blind nightmares forever now? Yes. Did it look as cool as beans when it was done? Yes.

Bottom line: I'm in ur photographs, stealing ur eyez. Watch out, world.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

No Pressure, Though.

We're only two months away now, and I'd like to do it a little differently than I did last year- starting on November 8th with only the faintest glimmerings of an opening scene. I have two plotbunnies begging to be written (or three, if you count the one with a premise and no characters.) I honestly can't decide which one to use, so, dear readers, I'm asking for your input.
Option #1: An idea of a setting, conflict and problem, but with few characters. I'm more enthusiastic about this one right now, but I don't know if it could reach 50k. (Not to mention, it's basically Twilight by Stephenie Meyer in a different country.)

Option #2: A setting, a bunch of characters, a conflict and a couple of scenes, but no clue in the plot department. I used to be wild about this one, but I stopped fleshing it out for a week or two and lost my entire train of thought on it. I do have a bizarre confidence that it'll be novel-length, however.

(Lame bonus option #3: A premise, but no characters and a lot of research required. Fun.)

I've heard some rave reviews about Holly Lisle's fast plotting, so I'll try that for plotless Option #2 and hope to regain some of it's momentum then. Other than that, the choice is yours.

Coming up: 14 Days of Freedom series coming tomorrow, which I plan to update every day. CAN YOU TAKE 2 STRAIGHT WEEKS OF BLOGGING?

Nope, me neither.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

10 Phrases Overheard At Black Belt Camp

Yeah, I'm a brown belt, but we were allowed to tag along. (I think they wanted someone to beat the snot out of.) It went like this- wake up at 5:30, do a workout consisting of basics, forms, two-on-one sparring (no contact, but I still got kicked in the face twice) , and tree kicking, shower, change clothes, eat, and sleep until next workout. Rinse & repeat. 3 days of this, interspersed with a karaoke party that lasted until midnight. Flat-out awesome.

"Those girls are always last because they have to put on their tae kwon do mascara."

"See, I don't bruise easily-"
"Oh, a challenge."

"Don't make fun of our bathroom!"

"We can Photoshop Ted in. He's only the grandmaster of the whole camp."

*screech* "Well, the brakes work."

"How many black belts does it take to set up a karaoke machine?"

"What's up?""My blood pressure, my heart rate, my bruise-to-skin quotient... everything but oxygen levels."

"There's a bug in my bra!"

"New friggen' York, New friggen' York!"

"My neck hurts, my arms ache, my shins are covered in bruises..."
"Welcome to black belt camp."

So, what did you do this weekend?

Monday, July 23, 2007

When Scripture Strikes

When I was a wee little lass in Ireland (or Maryland... sigh) my mom used to play vacation Bible School songs in the car, seeing as she usually organized them. The catchiest of which was the "Ask and You Shall Receive" one, which had the tinkley melody of the J-pop opening of a Cartoon Network anime. It's followed closely by the Great Commission song ("Matthew 28: 19 and 20, that's the Great Commission! Matthew 28: 19 and 20 says to go soul fishin'!")

I mention this because I've been asking for a subplot to my novel for awhile now- a couple of days, but it felt like a lot more. I've been asking pretty fervently. Not from God, necessarily (whom, I understand, has bigger fish to fry). No, I've been appealing to the novel itself. "I gave you life, novel! I poured sweat and blood* into you! You owe me one measly subplot!"

Well, I'm being a bit unfair to my novel here. On coughing up ideas owed, it's got a credit rate of 800. But, being the paranoid writer I am, I've been harassing it with all the tender sensitivity of a loan shark. And it's paid up. With interest. I get to flesh out my worldbuilding, make my climax realistic, give weight and a POV to my most neglected (and doomed) main character... I even get to do that cool thing where you switch between storylines between chapters! It's great!
So persevere, guys. This feels so good- writer's high, and I wouldn't want you to miss it.

Anyway, my faith reaffirmed, I'm off to write about wars, murderers and magic.

Laura Mallory will be proud.

*Literally, in some cases. I tend to have painful accidents while thinking about my novel and multitasking (ie: cooking, shaving, walking near sharp-cornered furniture.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter Mania

50 Ways to Annoy Dolores Umbridge

Guaranteed to get you detention with the Quill of Evil

1. Don't follow her regulations.
2. ... and when she punishes you, tell her that discrimination against people under Imperious is against aforementioned regulation.
3. Graffiti "Dumbledore rules, Fudge drools" in every bathroom stall in the school.
4. ... including the one in her own personal bathroom.
5. Write her soppy love letters and insist they're from Fudge.
6. Later, write her creepy letters and insist they're from a stalker/Death Eater.
7. Say how nice it is that she made the Inquisitorial Squad for "the socially and academically challenged."
8. Tell her that you think meeting new people would do wonders for her personal life.
9. Whenever she says Voldemort is dead, cluck your tongue, wobble your head, snap and say "uh uh uh, girlfriend! Whateva!"
10. Tell her what a lovely, balanced, stable child Harry Potter is and giggle fangirlishly.
11. Start a Harry Potter fanclub. Insist that she, Malfoy, Ginny, Colin and Dennis attend.
12. Act mortally offended when they don't come and cry during her class.
13. Burst out laughing in her class. When she demands to know why, say in a falsely ecstatic voice, "I'm just so happy to be here!"
14. Ask her to join S.P.E.W.
15. ...give her a S.P.E.W. button and announce her as "just another proud spewer!" at dinner in the Great Hall.
16. Give all the teachers hugs.
17. ... in front of her.
18. ... except for her.
19. Answer all her questions, written or verbal, in a foreign language. Claim you are an exchange student, and tell her "I do not speak the Engleesh very excellent, please."
20. When you get detention for not speaking English, talk about her under your breath in a foreign language the whole time, and say, "My visit to the Britteen is not so nice."
21. Do this in the second semester, after you have been speaking English fluently for whole first term.
22. Read her the Miranda Rights.
23. Dress up as a centaur.
24. Impersonate Slim Shady.
25. Threaten to call your lawyer.
26. Tell her 'yo momma' jokes constantly.
27. Doodle all over the Educational Degrees.
28. Whenever you address her, say "Yessir, um, ma'am... uh, Pooba!" and bow repeatedly.
29. Offer to tell her bedtime stories.
30. When she refuses, tell her, "That's okay. I'll just write it down at the end of my next homework."
31. Make sure the story is about an ugly toad who tries to defeat a handsome king and a gifted apprentice. The toad should die at the end.
32. When she asks you, "What exactly are those metaphors supposed to mean?" respond, "Wasn't that what the chapter we read was about?"
33. Tell her that you don't understand and would like redimal Defense Against the Dark Arts because you "really care about your grade and want to bring it up."
34. Smirk because she can't refuse such a sincere plea.
35. Use this time to further your torture of her. For instance, grin cheesily when you arrive and say, "Now we get to spend even more time together!"
36. Send her email address to every spammer known to man.
37. Offer to help her get rid of the spam, and use the time on her computer to send her address to every spammer known to monkeys.
38. If you are about to graduate, ask if you can get a job at Hogwarts because you'll miss her too much to leave.
39. If you are a first year, tell her how glad you are that you get to be around her for six more whole years!!!!
40. Confuse her with your alternation between evident hatred and cheesy, idiotic love for her.
41. The first time you meet her, look petrified, stand up and scream, "YOU'RE ONE OF THEM!" Look around frantically towards the exits and dive out the most unlikely one, like the trash can or window.
42. Tell her you have paranoia problems and have been too afraid of adults to tell them about it. Ask if she could recommend a good psychiatrist.
43. When she informs you haughtily that she wouldn't know, nod pityingly and say "There's no shame in therapy."
44. Invite a ton of Death Eaters, including Voldemort, to Hogwarts. Say there's a block party in her office.
45. Write a 1000 page thesis of "Dumbledore's Top 317.4 Greatest Qualities." End it with, "I wish I could go on, but with such a great human being, this could never end."
46. Distribute copies of it all over the school. Use her paper, and ask if you can turn it in for extra credit.
47. Cough on her a lot. Insist that "weak health runs in the Riddle family."
48. Tell her that you "haven't been the same since I had that gosh-darned Ring of Power."
49. Ask her which Ring messed her up. When she won't tell you, drop to all fours and begin to talk to yourself. Use the term "my Precious." Straighten, and say, "Sorry, I reverted there. Won't happen again, Precious."
50. Talk at length about what nice, well-raised boys those Fred and George Weasley are.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


As I write this, I'm involved in a friggin' battle.

There is a fly buzzing around my desk, landing on my possessions, any exposed skin, and generally irritating me beyond all compare.

Now, if I wasn't supposed to be doing something else, this might be fine. But I'm supposed to be typing up a bit of dialouge to pump my ailing word count.

Forget that. It's me vs. fly.

Oh, I don't want to kill it. I'm not a fan of killing animals. I just want it the heck out of my room. So I'm trying to trap it. At first, I had a little candy jar made of glass, with one of those hinged lids. That didn't work out so well. The top kept flopping down before I could pin the fly against an available surface. My current harpoon is a plastic cup. Lidless, but wide.

I've come close, but this thing's impossible to catch. It's a friggin' white whale. But I'll get it in the end. I have the power of procrastination on my side. No task is too trival to devote ungodly amount of time to.

Here's the moral of this story: Don't waste time and try to keep your work space tolerable.

See ya, guys, I'm going to get some Sevin to hose down my keyboard. That should work.

Aw, crap...

I just completed editing my 2006 NaNo.

I'm quite happy with the final product, except for one thing. The novel is now at 46,500 words. This does not fly.

So... how do YOU add 3,500 sellable words to a novel?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Seems almost lyrical at 11:30...

Cruelly ripped off of Paperback Writer's writing links comes the the Bonsai Story Generator. I put in snippets from my novel, my novellette, and a report on suicide bombers in WWII, and it came out as a strange, sad sort of poem. (the scene from the novel was discussing swordplay, the novellette, very bad first dates, and the report, fatality statistics. Bit depressing, really.) Try it out, it's neat.

“I think I have been worst first date?” He then asked trying not really romantic, but I took me a pocket Jarrin had not to laugh.
“Obviously, yes,” he seemed to change his students to boning fish.
He turned and looked me square in 1940’s Japan now.
Several factors began the comment and was strangely shaped and told me when I was so immediately.
He had a walk?
There’s a legendary typhoon that destroyed an eyebrow.
“The transcendent worst first date?” He nodded.
“Isn’t it is force to as such in Japanese.
The word ‘kamikaze’ originally referred to as such in a full-out melee with a snort.
He ignored the army or ‘divine wind’ in Japanese.
The word ‘kamikaze’ originally referred to a snort.
He doubted that time period.
The first kamikaze literally means ‘god wind’ or air attacks.
Shinpu tokubetsu kōgeki tai.
They focused on this mission later.
He then asked twenty-three of a ship, however- he asked.
“Maybe, if it is still called ‘kamikaze.’ Suicide pilots I am not going because I knew what the stone really romantic, but she should have a more “Probably not to laugh.
“Obviously, yes,” he said.
“Will you never, ever be referred to a kamikaze, but they would rarely, if it was anger- I was using an incorrect dialect.
This term gained universal acceptance in the eyes.
“Arenya, if you never, ever mention that was about it some prior experience dealing with me when I close my now-fragile feet.
Furious, I think the beginning of them raised their hands to use a walk?
There’s a knife.
No lies- one day they would rarely, if ever, be referred to learn how to use of kamikaze attacks.
First, the only ones who really practice with me when I left the Emperor… I raised an American translator and then translated using and grabbed a sweater and checked my now-fragile feet.
Furious, I asked, trying not to laugh.
“Obviously, yes,” he said.
“I don’t care,” she might have surpassed them.
Japan’s overextended war budget couldn’t fund designing another plane.
Many of a ship, however- he seemed to hand combat to use it.
And that was intended for the first date?” He ignored the other, he had to tokkaotai.
Stormer, Japan Visitor.
So, how to use of kamikaze literally means ‘god wind’ or the other, he said.
“I don’t care,” she might have one, so sophisticated.
A ring.
I ever received on this mission for the I shrugged.
“I’d like to think I have some prior experience but she replied.
“It’s a short sword.
I raised an attack called Operation Kikusui floating chrysanthemums.
They embargoed items like a six year old.
“Even now, many students are gone.” -Saubro Sakai, Imperial Japanese The word ‘kamikaze’ literally means ‘god wind’ or the Emperor… I headed back to the army lacked.
He ignored the HMAS Australia, killing at least thirty crewmen.
On April 6th, 1945, hundreds of the head, the knife.
“No, nothing quite so careful to use a patriotic Japanese homeland.
Commander Asaiki Tami asked Lieutenant Yukio Suki to lead the Japanese armed forces.
He doubted that he said.
“I don’t care,” she said with a snort.
He gave me “I think I have bombed the torso.” “If you’re the training I think the tokubetsu kōgeki tai.
They focused on October 21st, 1944.
The word ‘kamikaze’ literally means ‘god wind’ or the navy.
Since he asked, suspecting she should have been worst first date?” He gave me when I thought about all the sword.
Can’t you like to use a kodachi?” he considered the sides of how it was intended for the first kamikaze mission.
All of them You’d likely call a kodachi?” he considered the sword like a six kamikazes hit seven carriers, sunk five ships, badly damaged twenty-one more.
On October 25th 1944, fours days later, six kamikazes hit them wherever you marry me?” “I think the Alquimista Guardia wants to Japan after World War II a sheathed knife from a kamikaze, but possible.” “All right, what if we met, for example.” He turned and then there are several different strikes to learn sword Can’t you hit them raised their industrial progress.
They embargoed items like aircraft fuel, scrap metal and caught the Alquimista Guardia wants to kill it’s best pilots.
I took one only to be the top of weaponry,” she might have been worst first dates,” I close my doorway.
“So,” he asked, suspecting she might have to learn sword forms instead of them raised an eyebrow.
“The transcendent worst first dates,” I only have to learn sword forms instead of a patriotic Japanese lost Saipan on the subject of his students come up when I headed back to Japan before the sides of how it is force to keep gravel away from a pocket Jarrin “And you’ve been carrying this whole time?” He nodded once more.
“Nice one,” she said with conviction.
“Would you want?” Kalika interrupted, sounding very much like a six kamikazes hit seven carriers, sunk five ships, badly damaged twenty-one more.
On October 25th 1944, fours days later, six kamikazes hit them wherever you never, ever mention that However, he asked.
“Maybe, if we discuss the United States slowed trade with a simple dagger.
He nodded.
“Isn’t it And that time period.
The word ‘kamikaze’ originally referred to as if it mattered.
“Oh, good, then.
All of them Japan’s overextended war started, slowing their hands to learn sword forms instead of them raised an eyebrow.
“The transcendent worst first dates,” I ever received on July 15th, 1944.
The word shinpu was so careful to use it.
And that was strangely shaped and steel.
Encyclopedia Americana 836.
In English, this whole time?” He nodded once more.
“Nice one,” she said with a snort.
He nodded once more.
“Nice one,” she said with the navy: it though.” She drew a full moon.” I was ordered to.” Wikipedia.
The Americans gained universal acceptance in World War II a second, then translated using an incorrect dialect.
This could refer to Japan after words in the eyes.
“Arenya, if it was about all around use- from my now-fragile feet.
Furious, I knew what it was,” she might have been worst first dates,” I close my students come up when I grabbed the other, he asked, suspecting she said, incomprehensive of my students to volunteer for the Empire or air attacks.
Shinpu tokubetsu kōgki tai, or ‘divine wind in Japanese.
The initial attack took place on the I have some prior experience but she said with Japan before saying, “Please let me a heart-melting look.
I thought about all the navy: it was,” she said, incomprehensive of Okinawa in astonishment to Wikipedia.
The word shinpu was so careful to boning fish.
He wrote, “Japan’s future is force to do so you’ll have some prior experience but she replied.
“It’s a tanto?” he seemed to be the tokubetsu kōgeki tai.
They focused on this mission for the sides of his students are gone.” -Saubro Sakai, Imperial Japanese The word ‘kamikaze’ originally referred ...

Most of it, I suppose, is pretty self-evident, but, just to clear up one source of weird combonations, the word "kamikaze" orignally meant "god wind" and referred to a legendary typhoon that drove away an invading fleet in the 1300's. And, um, the think about now-fragile feet- the MC got her feet burned.

Oh, the sane, normal things I write.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Way of the Cheetah- Review

Heh. Well, I'm not quite sure how to start this puppy off, so, to put it succinctly, Way of the Cheetah by Lynn Viehl is 72 pages of solid advice on how to manage the trade-off of making writing work for you and making you work hard writing.

Pros: She has something on just about every controllable thing that could stop you from writing: how to remain focused, how not to let other people discourage you, how not to discourage yourself, how to set up good writing spaces, how to keep your computer clean, even how to stay healthy. Then she's got a nice bit devoted to the actual writing writing, and editing. She includes examples from her own life and at least five tips at the end of each chapter on how to apply each concept. To top it off, she doesn't demand that you follow every single one of her methods with the devotion of a secondary religion- she even has suggestions on how to gently implement individual techniques into your life.

Cons: It's 72 double-spaced pages. While the wisdom imparted is valuable, it's not a long book. And a lot of that is cheetah metaphors, which, I suppose, are only to be expected.

Buy it if: you need a good guide on how to write, if you don't have a set writing work ethic, or want a better writing work ethic. This is a fabulous manual for you don't have a productive writing schedule. I did before I read this, and now it's better, but it's really geared towards inventing (or reinventing) a writing workday.

I highly recommend this to beginning or frustrated writers, and if you don't fall in this category- it's ten bucks, and I'm positive you'll find some worthwhile advice in there. Probably a lot of worthwhile advice.

Final word: It's not indispensible, but it's darn helpful. It's ten bucks. Splurge.

Second opinion: Another review and here.

Go for it, guys.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Well, I haven't edited for two days and I'm in need of some serious motivation. Since I've had trouble with procrastination before, I decided to get the Way of the Cheetah by Lynn Viehl and see if reading (and applying) that doesn't help.

(I'll admit, though, the first time I saw that title, I thought it was a bad pun of "cheater"- like, this makes writing so easy it's cheating. Man, am I glad that's not it...)

So, one of the inital reccomendations is to implement changes one at a time and keep a record of which ones work and which don't. She even reccomends you write them down in your "weblog."

Weblog. *snickers*

*tries not to think of the ways her "weblog" owns mine*

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Okay, I know how to do the regular [ u r l = http . website . com ] here [ / u r l ], but it doesn't seem to work in either the 'compose' tab or the 'edit html' tab. What gives?

Anyway, I ask because Miri, ( was kind to the point of untruthfulness, and I'm really touched. Thanks.

(and, hopefully, maybe next time I'll manage to write an entry that doesn't have to do with Miri/a contest Miri introduced me to. Independence calls!)

Eight Things Meme

'Kay, I got tagged by Miri, so here goes.

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

I don't actually know 8 blogggers, so if you read this and haven't done this meme, you're tagged.

1. I procrastinate terribly when it comes to editing. Today alone, I've watched Powerthirst, tried to figure out why people like Maxium Ride, eaten candy, listened to music, petted my dog, made my bed (for the first time in months), wrote this and editted a whole 143 words. It's a big ol' kidnapping scene, but still. 2 hours here.

2. I write on mirrors with dry-erase markers. Right now, I have a list of things to bear in mind while editing.

3. I have a ballroom dancing class later on today. Never been before, but a bunch of my friends do and they really enjoy it, so...

4. I play French horn, which, in all honesty, is one of the harder orchestra instruments.

5. Every wall in my room is painted a different color. It's practically a redneck truck.

6. I never put two spaces after a period. I suppose I'll have to when I get around to submitting, but until then....

7. My handwriting is really messy, but by my approximation, looks kind of cool.

8. I should be working... which shows you how much I care about my readers, right?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

100 things about me

Saw this on Mother Reader's blog ( and thought it would be a nice way to anyone reading this to get to know me more than "Dang, that girl reads a LOT."

1. Miri ( got me into this.

2. Miri gets me into lots of things, like word wars on NaNoWriMo and the Spork Room. So far, I've ended up loving everything she's gotten me into.

3. I heart NaNoWriMo.

4. It takes me about an hour to straighten my hair, which I usually do three or four times a week.

5. It's a great time to think over plot points.

6. I like to write- have you gotten that?

7. I'm an anime fan and I proudly admit it. My favorites are FullMetal Alchemist, Bleach and Avatar.

8. Yes, Avatar is a kid's show.

9. I also love the Office.

10. Jam FOREVER. Whoever said you shouldn't get involved in office romances was dead wrong. I'm serious.

11. Embarrassingly enough, my dream guy is pretty much Jim.

12. My father finds this hiliarous.

13. I wear a biteguard at night to keep me from clenching my teeth.

14. I sound like a total idiot with it in.

15. I have never, nor will I, have braces.

15. Sometimes I regret this fact. There's a kind of fraternity of suffering associated with orthidoncia.

16. I pick at hangnails when I'm anxious.

17. I want to live on the beach.

18. Altar calls make me really awkward.

19. I discuss teen fiction with my grandmom.

20. I find character development in Beatles songs.

21. I harbor a deep and abiding hate of all things Macintosh.

22. Even iPods.

23. They're lame.

24. My nickname in 5th grade was 'Panda Girl.'

25. Because I got $25 in some kind of essay contest and gave it to some enviromental agency.

26. I was a weird kid.

27. I think I still am.

28. I've been in theater since I was like, five.

29. I went to see Wicked last summer.

30. Jealous?

31. I really like showtunes. :)

32. I like cats.

33. I like dogs, too.

34. I have some of both. They both get fur all over my clothes.

35. My favorite kind of candy is Reeses Peanutbutter Cups.

36. I'm eating one right now.

37. My dad makes horrible puns.

38. I'm a vegetarian.

39. Nothing to do with religion, or family, or culture or anything. It's just better this way, for me.

40. I really like flipflops.

41. Although I only have one pair.

42. I repair things with duct tape.

43. I've tried to make flipflops out duct tape.

44. It didn't work.

45. I have contacts. (Lenses, I mean.)

46. I only like the first first hour of a shopping trip.

47. My characters develop political views opposite from my own, and it freaks me out.

48. Even the protaganists.

49. I love the Colbert Report.

50. I'm delighted to have made it halfway through the list.

51. I'm running out of things to say.

52. I've read the entire Harry Potter series (to date) at least 4 times each. Usually more.

53. I go to a movie at midnight about 3 times a year.

54. Sleeping is unimportant to me.

55. I don't like taking naps.

56. I wake up feeling sick.

57. I have awesome (and sometimes terrifying) dreams.

58. My tolerance for ignorance is extremely low.

59. That's probably not great when you live in Hicktown, USA.

60. I take Tae Kwon Do.

61. I'm a brown belt. My black belt test is in November.

62. Yes, the same month as NaNoWriMo. I'm already worried.

63. My TKD teacher is aweseome.

64. He usually stands around and talks to people while we do basics (warmups) and tells antecdotes.

65. I have a long career of listening into these antecdotes.

66. And I put one of them into my April Fool's novellette. 'Twas sweet.

67. I can't tell left from right without making an L with my left hand.

68. I helped coach a peewee soccer team one year.

69. One of the parents said I could be a teacher.

70. *cracks up laughing*

71. I only know four phone numbers.

72. One of which I've forgotten.

73. I'm good at Scrabble.

74. But not great.

75. I shower at night. Always.

76. I have short fingers.

77. I will watch films for the English accents.

78. If 'Love, Actually' had been made with American actors, I never would have sat through it.

79. I have a deep enemity with my alarm clock.

80. My alarm clock knows this.

81. And persists in ringing as horribly as possible.

82. I think I learned the word 'plausible' from Mythbusters.

83. I get a cold once every three months.

84. I have a mold of my teeth.

85. I snap them in my sisters' faces just to annoy them.

86. I love my family more than anything else on Earth.

87. Although my friends are pretty far up on that list, too.

88. I cried when I finished Lord of the Rings.

89. I still watch Star Wars.

90. If I had a week left to live, I'd probably finish editing my last novel, then hang out with my peeps.

91. The prospect of death doesn't really freak me out that much.

92. Then again, I have quite awhile to go.

93. I love popcorn.

94. I take spiders outside instead of killing them.

95. I once biked 120 miles in 3 days, carrying all my food and shelter.

96. It was a blast.

97. I'm related to one of my best friends, and I've never technically "met" the other one. Go figure.

98. I listen to This American Life nearly compulsively.

99. I haven't drank Sprite since I saw that Lymon commerical.

100. To me, the finest poetry of our day is Dr. Seuss's "Oh! the Places You'll Go."

Readathon- Final Stats

Approximate overall time: 16 hours.
Total books: 4.
Total pages: 1457.

This was a blast and all, but I really wish I hadn't gone to Relay for Life, swimming, or had my cousin over. Next year, methinks, I'll plan ahead and bulldozer all distractions. *cue evil laughter*

Readathon- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

Honestly, if you don't know what's said about Harry Potter by now, I'm amazed that you're operating a computer. The only people I can think of who wouldn't know/read Harry Potter would be (1 shut-ins without computers, (2 people deathly sick for the last nine years, and (3 citizens of third-world countries. And if you qualify and you're on the Internet now, congradulations are in order. :)

Really, though, reading this made me remember why I was a diehard Potterhead back in the day (not that I'm not anymore, but my fevor for all things Rowling has slacked off to the point where it no longer jepordizes my health.) I liked them so much because they're really good. I've found books that I like more since then, but it doesn't diminsh HP any. I should have remembered that.

And if it says anything, I read this 700+ page book in two days and plan to start Order of the Phoenix tomorrow.

Readathon- The Pigman

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

Wow. I'd never read the Pigman before, and I really missed out. I'm not going to say too much about it, because I'd like y'all to read it for yourself. It's that good.

(Non-spoilery comments- the characters' voices are so clear it's absolutely mindblowing. The whole story really has you feeling for them to an extraordinary degree. It's the only book I've read recently where I came close to crying at the end. High praise, indeed.)

Readathon- Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

This is another one I've read before, and it rivals the movie, if that tells you anything. The plot is far easier to follow on the second read-through, and rather gave me a different perspective on the Witch of the Waste. (I pretty much pictured her as she was in the Miyazaki version before, and I think I like the new way better.)

For those of you who aren't familiar, a hatter's daughter named Sophie is the oldest of three in the land of Ingray, where that particular birth placement is horribly bad luck. She ticks off the Witch of the Waste, who turns her into an old woman. So, freaked out, Sophie leaves the hat shop and gets work in Wizard Howl's castle. Naturally, where Howl is involved, things get a bit crazy, and soon, she's caught up in a battle to save Howl, her family, and the country from the Witch of the Waste. Cool, huh?

Readathon- Avalon High

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

I've read this book before and enjoyed it, so, naturally, read it again. The premise is great- a junior's Arthurian-legend-professors parents go on sabbatical and move to Maryland for a year, and she starts high school there, only to see the legend of King Arthur being played out by her classmates. It's wonderfully easy to get into the narrator's head, and her use of teenage sarcasm is spot-on. My only complaint is that I didn't really see the end coming, nor was there a lot of buildup, which left me feeling rather lost when I was done. In it's credit, though, I usually run in the opposite direction of teen, romance, and medival-y novels, and this one had me reading all three without so much as a grimace.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

48-Hour Readathon

Because how else do you start off a blog?

To my great displeasure, I was cut off from the sweet soothing balm that is the Internet because I was partcipating in Relay for Life and bunking in an evil-smelling camper with five other people when I started. But I'm posting now, and I'm very much reading my brains out. (What do you mean I can't read 500 pages and watch an episode of the Office before 2 AM?)